Tomatillos have great health benefits such as promoting digestion, treating strep throat, treating mumps, treating cold and influenza, preventing cancer, increasing the immune system,
treating ringworms, improving vision, treating asthma, losing weight and increasing energy savings, decreasing blood pressure and improving heart health.
The tomatillo belongs to a nightshade family plant, which affords little spherical fruits that covered with a peel. The name “tomatillo” comes from the early European explorers.
because this fruit look-alike a small tomato. When the tomatillo fruit grows, its brown peel starts to shrivel resembles the outer tissue of a Japanese lantern and by the time it goes out when it is fully grown.
Tomatillo has many names according to its origin. In southern areas of Mexico, where it originates, it is called Mexican husk. Other names of tomatillo are the Rio Grande Verde, the Purple De Milpa, the Everona Large Green and the Pineapple tomatillo.
The botanical name of the tomatillo is Physalis philadelphica. Tomatillo types have many differences in colour, size and taste. For example, the pineapple tomatillo resembles a mild pineapple and its colour is yellow.
Tomatillo is treated like any other tomato, fruit in nature but it is actually a vegetable and is a constant component in Mexican cooked food. Unlike tomatoes, tomatillo do not have lycopene.
But it has withanolide, which is another type of antioxidant phytochemical. Some studies at the University of Kansas proved through preclinical that tomatillo contains 14 phytochemicals that have anti-cancer activity.
And also they proved that there is no side effects or toxicity to these antioxidant phytochemicals. Tomatillo also has a large amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, niacin, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Furthermore, tomatillo has other organic components that have great health benefits.
Nutrition Info (per 100 grams):
- Calories: 32
- Carbohydrate: 5.8 g
- Protein: 1 g – 2% RDA
- Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g – 8% RDA
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 16 mg V
- Vitamin A: 114 IU – 2% RDA
- Vitamin C: 11.7 mg – 20% RDA
- Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol): 0.4 mg – 2% RDA
- Vitamin K: 10.1 mcg – 13% RDA
- Thiamin: 3% RDA
- Riboflavin: 2% RDA
- Niacin: 1.9 mg – 9% RDA
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg – 3% RDA
- Folate: 7 mcg – 2% RDA
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.2 mg – 2% RDA
- Choline: 7.6 mg
- Calcium: 7 mg – 1% RDA
- Iron: 0.6 mg – 3% RDA
- Magnesium: 20 mg – 5% RDA
- Phosphorus: 39 mg – 4% RDA
- Potassium: 268 mg – 8% RDA
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Zinc: 0.2 mg – 1% RDA
- Copper: 0.1 mg – 4% RDA
- Manganese: 0.2 mg – 8% RDA
- Selenium: 0.5 mcg – 1% RDA
- RDA: Resource Dietary Allowance.
Health Benefits of tomatillo:
1. Promote Digestion
Tomatillo has a good amount of dietary fibre. These dietary fibres can change your digestive health for the better.
they assist in stopping constipation, bloating, cramping and excess gas, moves your bowels along, increase the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract.
These dietary fibres may also stop more dangerous conditions like gastric ulcers and colon cancer. Due to the high content of fibre in tomatillo, It is a major component in a diabetic patients diet.
Tomatillo also has an important role in keeping blood glucose levels under control and distribute it evenly throughout the bloodstream, otherwise, it may result in hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
2. Can Help Treat Strep Throat
Streptococcus bacteria is the main cause of the inflammation of the throat. This inflammation causes pain and discomfort, and affect adults and children alike. It spreads from one person to another one easily.
Tomatillo has a good role in curing this condition in two major ways. First, its anti-inflammatory effect that assists in relieving pain. And also its antibacterial effect that eliminates streptococcus bacteria.
3. May Help Treat Mumps
There are some diseases that can move from one person to another through close contact. Mumps is one of the contagious diseases that is caused by a virus. Mumps is known by some symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and headache.
But the main symptom is painful swelling under the neck. The main problem in treating mumps is that it is a viral infection, which means it can not be cured with antibiotics.
Tomatillos have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that may soothe the inflammation and decrease the pain resulting from mumps. In recent days, mumps is abolished due to the vaccine practices that are given to all people.
But you must be cautious and ready for any outbreak due to the resurgence that may happen.
4. Treat Colds and Influenza
The presence of vitamin C and other antioxidants found in tomatillos can assist you in increasing the efficacy of your immune system. And so, make your body recover from the fever, cold faster.
Also, it reduces the chance of getting infected from the beginning.
5. Help Prevent Cancer
Free radicals are very harmful compounds that result from cellular metabolism. These free radicals can cause oxidative stress to the body. Tomatillos contain withanolides, a special family of steroids that have antioxidant abilities that help in stopping this oxidative stress.
These steroids have also anti-cancer effect, that can be added to the effect of vitamin A and vitamin C. Also this withanolides improve cell regeneration and have some antibacterial properties.
6. Boost Immune System
As we mentioned before, tomatillos contain vitamin C that supports the immune system to stand against any infection. Vitamin C has a good role in increasing the white blood cells (WBCs) or leukocytes that swallow bacteria and fungi.
It is very important that you must increase the strength of your immune system to stand as a first-line against pathogens that may cause some contagious diseases.
Vitamin C also has a role in the formation of collagen, that assist in the production of cells and tissues that form blood vessels and organs.
7. Treats Ringworms
Ringworm is not a parasitic worm, it is a fungal infection that affects the skin. You must treat it quickly before any complications may happen.
Tomatillos have anti-mycotic functions that can help in curing that ringworm, and this preparation can be made at home.